JUTTA & THE HI-DUKES
Balkan Gypsy Dixie Klezmer and more…
From a slamming six-piece band that will rock the largest festival crowd to a budget-pleasing duet or trio, this eclectic group transports your soul (and soles), on an exciting worldbeat dance tour.
Audiences experience a spectrum of sound colors and mesmerizing melodies at any performance by this experienced, energetic band. There is something for every taste in their repertoire, from Greek “Blues” (rembetika) songs to bouncy Serbian kolos, from Turkish / Sephardic love songs to magical melodies and asymmetrical meters (such as 9/8) from the Macedonian Gypsy tradition, from French Canadian dance tunes to songs about ravens and rabbits from Medieval Denmark.
Ushti, Ushti, Baba
Macedonian Gypsy song / Quintet
Greek love song / Quartet
Scandinavian waltz tune by Jutta Distler / Trio
Der Rebbe Is Gegangen
Klezmer tune / Quintet
12th St Rag
Dixieland tune / Quintet
Gypsy song / Quintet
Sephardic song from Turkey / Trio
Din Al Fatar
Bulgarian / Rumanian tune in 7/8 rhythm / Duet
Medieval Danish song about a raven / Trio
Serbian tune / Quintet
Macedonian Gypsy song / Quintet
The band also plays music from the American continent. Folks will groove to hot Klezmer and spicy Dixieland tunes in original arrangements featuring the Bulgarian end-blown flute, Kaval.
Program Options Galore!
Founded in 1990, the Hi-Dukes tour in Europe, Canada, and across the U.S.A., pleasing audiences at fests, concerts, corporate events, and private parties. Schools and libraries are especially happy to sponsor the band’s unique, interactive, educational assembly programs and residencies / workshops.
The Hi-Dukes also present master classes and lecture / demonstrations at universities and colleges.
Since 1995 the Hi-Dukes have served special needs communities internationally with programs geared to folks with cognitive disabilities like autism and Down Syndrome. Again, a big Thank You! to both the Evanston Arts Council and the Illinois Arts Council for grants in 2017, 2018, and 2019 to run a dance program, “We Just Want To Have Fun, Too!”, in the Summer geared to Evanston’s Special Needs. A big Thank You to the Ridgeville Park District which has hosted these events since 2018!!
Proven Crowd Pleasers
“They have an amazing repertoire … they have that authentic chutzpah that makes the music come alive … This band knows how to reach everyone, regardless of age or background.” — Michigan’s BlissFest festival brochure on the band’s third appearance there.
To make sure folks connect with the powerful roots music, this engaging, skilled band teaches and leads circle and lines dances when circumstances allow it. The audience is encouraged to drum along on percussion as well as sing along. The entire family, from toddlers to seniors, gets to join in the very accessible fun!
Most of the Hi-Dukes are multi-instrumentalists, a fact which allows the band to create an ever changing color, but whatever the sound, every number grabs your attention, gets your feet tapping, urging you to dance.
The core trio plays eight instruments: Mandolin, Violin, Greek Baglama, Guitar, Bulgarian Flute, Percussion and Drums, Ocarina, with three singing voices.
Additional instrumentation / players can include: Acoustic Bass, Saxophone, Lead Guitar, Oud, and Percussion.
The Hi-Dukes come from and play within various ethnic communities: Danish, Jewish, Greek, African-American, Hispanic, Irish, Armenian, and Bulgarian, reflecting American diversity. (Which is great for 4th of July events!) This band knows how to reach all audiences, regardless of age or background.
[Their] music is exciting, and listeners will find it hard to keep from leaping up to dance.” Natalie Wainwright, Arts & Life reviewer, Round Table
…such a wonderful show! Not only was your performance entertaining, but also informative and instructive, which is what we were hoping for in a university environment. … everybody had a wonderful time. Thank you again for a great show!” Michael B. Cosmopoulos, Ph.D., Fellow, Academy of Science St. Louis, Professor of Archaeology, The Hellenic Government-Karakas Foundation Professor in Greek Studies, Department of Anthropology, University of Missouri
You get Gypsy music, music from Spain, Israel, everything. Finland! What more could you ask for? Not only is it entertaining and educational but you get up and dance and get a little sweaty, which is awesome! … Book them! Amazing!” Enthusiastic librarian
Your performance was truly amazing and we are very glad that you could be part of this special event.” Juan Carlos Acevedo, Outreach Coordinator, Wheeling Park District
Thank you so much for performing at our Bishop Hill Folk Festival! We have heard nothing but compliments about your music.” Todd DeDecker, Bishop Hill Heritage Association Administrator
Their artistry and sense of musical history is infused in their delicious tracks. I like [their] intelligent approach to music as well as the old world flavor of what [they] do.” Terry Loncaric, entertainment writer and poet
After over twenty years of focusing on rootsy Blues acts, I decided to branch into World Music because of this eclectic band. Their enthusiastic and authoritative approach to music convinced me to sign them to the Earwig Music label. Their CD, ‘On the World Beat’, is a fine overview of their work. I imagine you will find Jutta & the Hi-Dukes(tm) as exciting as I do!” Michael Frank, owner of Earwig Music Company.
I am not exaggerating or giving empty words when I say your performance was my favorite ever.” Ashleah White, Reporter for The Current, University of Missouri — St. Louis, Nov. 28th, 2015